Bakken Region Prospers from Oil Boom, Even the Environment Benefits

The American Action Forum (AAF) studied the surge in Bakken oil production, its impact on the environment, and finds air quality in the region unchanged. Generally, as U.S. and Bakken oil production has increased, air quality has actually improved. Oil production has increased in the region by 1,450 percent, while more than 90 percent of the air quality days in the region remain “good,” a trend unchanged since 2008. In addition, these economic boons are in concert with falling greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Reimbursement Policy for Biosimilars Will Have Negative Consequences for Patients

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have finalized a rule regarding the Medicare reimbursement methodology for biosimilar products. Biosimilars are prescription medications which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being “highly similar” to a specific biologic medication (known as the reference product).  Thus, it is easiest for most people to think of biosimilars as the equivalent of generics for small molecule brand name medications, though this is not scientifically accurate. While small molecule generics are chemically identical (save for potentially any inactive ingredients) to their respective brand name drugs—and can be because they are chemically manufactured—exact copies of biological products, by their nature of being developed from living organisms, cannot be produced,  and patients may respond differently to the reference product and the biosimilars.

Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao’s Remarks Before AAF Event On Online Gig Economy

In a few short decades, digital communication has revolutionized the supply chain, created a global market place, and made it possible to reach and serve individual customers as never before.  There is hardly any aspect of the marketplace it hasn’t touched.  It is also changing the workplace, creating new structures that allow workers unprecedented freedom, flexibility and mobility.  This is especially true for the so-called “gig” and “sharing” economies, which allow workers maximum flexibility in deciding how much they work, when they work, where they work, and what they make.

2015 Local Minimum Wage Increases and Restaurant Employment Trends

In recent years, policymakers and labor advocates have proposed raising the minimum wage at federal, state, and local levels. On the local level, these efforts have been somewhat successful as a number of major cities have enacted minimum wage increases over the last few years. These cities include San Francisco and Seattle, which both enacted laws to implement a “living wage” of $15 per hour. Beginning this year, several major cities took steps to phase in these large minimum wage increases. Now that we are almost to the end of 2015, these cities provide a new source of evidence to evaluate the labor market implications of raising the minimum wage. The facts show that this year restaurant employment in the major metropolitan areas with minimum wage increases has consistently experienced slower growth than restaurant employment in the rest of their states.

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